In October 2015 I began a whirlwind, mostly long distance love affair with a dashing English man* who lived in Portugal. In November I flew out to visit him. And while the relationship stalled after five champagne fueled days together, I fell madly in love with this petite European nation.
When I touched down in Lisbon, my gentleman caller whisked me away* to his home in Cascais, a small coastal resort town. At first glance, Cascais is gorgeous.
After a quick breakfast at home, we headed back out for a wander around the charming town centre. The streets were uncrowded due to it being low season (and a Tuesday morning). Each summer, visitors from Portugal and around Europe, swarm Cascais for the golden sand beaches, posh hotels and restaurants, and lively nightlife. But on this mild Autumn day , we wandered in peace and often solitude.
Cascais is one of the wealthiest parts of Portugal, which was obvious as we strolled the spotless cobble stone streets. The town centre radiates history, culture and prosperity.
I only spent about a day there but I quickly understood what had compelled my English suitor to relocate. With friendly locals, a mild climate, decadent and delicious restaurants and breathtaking natural beauty, Cascais is the kind of place that gets under your skin. The kind of place that makes you start fantasizing about a new life in this little slice of paradise.
*Note: some details may have been edited to make my life sound more like a mid-century romance novel.